In the Greek classic The Odyssey, the hero Odysseus ties himself to the staff to prevent himself from succumbing to the temptation of the Sirens. Most temptations we modern folks face are not quite so tempting, but it would be great if there were a way to use a similar level of what’s called pre-commitment n order to motivate us to achieve our goals.
That’s the premise behind kSafe, a smartphone-lockable jar that can hold a variety of treats until such time as one completes a predetermined goal. An example might be walking a certain number of steps per day or checking in at a gym, or waiting a certain amount of time. A ring of colored light on the top of the jar lights progress toward the goal. Its colors include an opaque black and white as well as a translucent option to maximize motivation/torture.
The product, based on psychology research from MIT and other sources, is an evolution of Kitchen Safe, an unconnected version that garnered an appearance on Shark Tank. The company seeks $50,000 by April 24 and expects to offer backers their own kSafe for $89 by October. The campaign also includes a number of stretch goals, the mot interesting of which kicks in at $350,000: the ability to have a friend unlock the container.
While the kinds of tasks that kSafe caters to are limited, the kinds of rewards it can provide are less so. Overall, the system is more versatile than other projects such as box&rox. More real-world exposure will test the positive results that the creators claim it has provided up to now.